There’s so much to be excited about if you’re a Cavaliers fan.
An excellent young core, front office stability, and a decent (when healthy) bench unit.
And if you’re just a fan of basketball, there’s similar optimism on the horizon.
Last year’s draft featured some incredible talents, including the Cavs’ Evan Mobley, Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, and Toronto’s Scottie Barnes.
And those were just three of the top four selections; looking down at five through ten, there were some serious franchise pieces selected in those slots as well.
Josh Giddey, Jonathan Kuminga, and Franz Wagner were taken back-to-back-to-back at six through eight.
Each figures to be a major part of their teams’ respective long-term plans.
And this year?
Has the potential to be much the same.
At no. 14, the Cavs might be just barely outside looking in.
Should the squad move up in the draft?
The Cavs should certainly explore the trade market for an established star.
Netting a Donovan Mitchell, Brad Beal, or the like would be a major coup, in addition to being far less of a risk than taking someone in the draft.
Bleacher Report’s trade idea:
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards receive: Collin Sexton (sign-and-trade), Lauri Markkanen, No. 14 pick (can't be traded until after the draft) and 2025 first-round pick pic.twitter.com/RHjXr8fPIv
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) May 18, 2022
But putting together a lineup of trade-ins is hard.
Just ask the New York Knicks, who thought they were bringing in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in 2019, only to have the pair choose the Brooklyn Nets instead.
It was a disaster that sent the Knicks into a mini-spiral that they’re still recovering from.
So it’s not as easy as waving a major wand and summoning Beal or Mitchell.
And if Cleveland isn’t successful in landing one of those guys, is all hope lost?
While a win-now vet might be precisely what this team needs, there are other avenues, including moving up a few spots in the draft.
If I know this draft is deep, then I guarantee that at least thirty other individuals in NBA front offices are also on that scent.
While the top tier of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, and Paolo Banchero is more-or-less locked into the top three selections, the next tier of talent is fluid.
Fluid, but still potentially hugely impactful.
In fact, there are three wings in particular who could seriously help Cleveland win right this very second.
But none of them will be available at no. 14.
Shaedon Sharpe, Jeremy Sochan, and AJ Griffin.
All three have the ceiling to start alongside Darius Garland, forming a lethal backcourt that combines shooting and defense.
“For guys like myself, the hardest people to guard are like Darius Garland.”
– Grant Williams pic.twitter.com/frbDo1KPva
— Cavaliers Nation (@WeAreCavsNation) May 25, 2022
Throughout the pre-draft process, Sharpe has drawn comparisons to Paul George (and . . . wait for it . . . Bradley Beal), Sochan to Draymond Green, and Griffin to Jaylen Brown.
Two of those comps are currently battling for a chance to play in the Finals.
Open For Business?
At least one top-five team is putting out strong “will trade out” signals: the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings currently pick at no. 4.
At the spot, any of Sharpe, Sochan, or Griffin would most likely be available.
Portland (no. 7) and New Orleans (no. 8) also appear willing to trade their pick for an established veteran.
Would some combination of Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Kevin Love, Isaac Okoro, no. 14, and no. 39 get a deal done with those teams?
It’s possible that’s a price Koby Altman is simply not willing to pay.
It’s also possible that in a draft like this, guys pegged high in one scouting department start to fall, given the depth of talent.
So maybe Altman does stand pat.
But if his guy is available and trade possible, he should strongly consider the move.
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